PMC GUITARS Blast Master
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PMC GUITARS Blast Master

Blast Master, STC-Shaped Guitar from PMC GUITARS.

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kinder_guano 05/21/2011

PMC GUITARS Blast Master : kinder_guano's user review


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And voila! My Blast is built, I've had it now for a good month, and I'm stick to it every day since!
It deserves a little review!

Flashback: I've known PM, for... wow ... 7 or 8 years ... He knows my tastes, what I like what I hate ... He even happened to identify specs that I had not
thought of or did not want to hear about, though they would be eventually accurate. Hey, Pm's pretty smart!
So eventually, my sweet 666, and her twin sister, the 667, are in!

In short, my 666!

The specs:

-1 piece African mahogany body, with a rather very cool shape, sizing roughly like a Washburn N4.
-Black finish-dyed, waxed and oiled.
-Top notch ergonomics and body contour (heel carved for easy access to the upper frets, tummy and forearm cut).
-1 piece bolt on Padauk neck with two carbon fiber rods, two way adjustable trussrod, volute reinforcement. The padauk PM picked has dried for more than 20 years!
- Oiled neck: ultra comfortable, nothing can compare to the outstanding feel of the wood.
-Thick ebony board, round fretboard end.
-Scale 25''1 / 2.
- Electronics back cover in mahogany, closing with magnets: farewell screwdriver to change batteries!
-Medium jumbo frets with hidden feet (that's attention to details!).
-Grover 406BC locking tuners.
-Fixed Hipshot.125 string through bridge.
-EMG 81 bridge and 60A neck, wired in 18v.
-One volume knob ,one 3 way toggle switch, placed further away from the bridge.
-Flushmount Dunlop Straplok and output jack.
-Metal pickup rings.
-Graphtech Tusq nut.
-Luminlay side dots (it's cool, it glows in the dark).
-"JG666"carved at the back of the headstock, and filled with ebony, the little goodie PM made!

At the beginning, I was gob smacked by the body shape, but I wasn't crazy about the headstock. I wanted an angled headstock with a scarf joint, like any Jackson USA.
In the end, I find that this headstock is great and is a good match, the overall look is great!

One piece neck, with the usual (at PMC at least!) carbon reinforcements along the trussrod: the neck is as stiff as a very stiff neck indeed! You can use any string gauge without any fear of warping it.

I let PM decide what shape he would do for the neck. He knows me by heart, and I do not regret it a second!

The woods are outstanding. The feel is incredible, you feel the wood living and vibrating. To be honest, we're light years away from mass production of guitars that really feel like cheap plastic compared to this guitar.

That is pure excellence!

UTILIZATION

The neck is to die for: immediate handling, no adaptation in sight. That's superb job. Flat without excess, neither too thick nor too flat.

An incredible compromise, far from the Ibanez Wizard ruler, far from Gibson's log. A bit like my good old Lag (I can blame them for a few things, still the comfort of their necks is exceptional),Washburn N4, or USA Jackson (not the horrible MIJ rulers like the DK2).

The ergonomics are flawless: between the bevels, contours, the flat bridge, knobs are not stupidly too close to the bridge, there's no mistake here.

The guitar is well balanced, with a rather small body (a bit like the Washburn N4, the ESP Horizon). But rather thick (that's for the good vibes!)

In short, well balanced, flawless ergonomics, incredible woods, you literally become one with the guitar, I had not felt this way since ... wow ... in fact, I never felt that with a guitar!

That's it, I'm just über satisfied and happy with my Blast! I dig my Blast!

SOUNDS

It's not a scoop, I'm not into fancy music. Definitely not.
The pickups I chose prove it :o).

Currently, I play on a Fractal Audio Axe Fx Ultra (which replaces with no regrets a Engl E570 and a floor full of pedals), either straight into Fostex PM-0.5 mkII monitors or plugged into a VHT / Fryette 2/50/2 and a VHT / Fryette Fat Bottom 2x12. Holly cow, what a sound!

Again, the EMGs are not as extreme as stubbornly believed.
The 81,is very precise, a bit compressed. The mount 18v gives more grain a bit more of an organic feel, less compression, without changing it into a passive Duncan pickup though.
Distortion is its domain. There it just does an excellent job.
It is not so ridiculous with clean sounds, its output level is way less radical than a lot of passive ceramic pickups (think Duncan SH6, SH13, SH8 Invader rubbish, DiMarzio X2N, Super Distortion, Evolution, Drop Sonic etc to name a few).

The 60A, wow ... is to my ears the best EMG neck humbucker. An attack closer to the SA than the 85, still with a certain roundness common to AlNiCo humbuckers.
Some very interesting cleans, crunch to die for, and far from being ridiculous in high gain.

All the notes sound, precise, sharp, the harmonics are here, albeit a tad less rich with ... SP Custom Handwound Pickups! Yes, see my opinion on the PMC Blast Black Maple, which is equipped with these).

In short, the Blast blasts!!!

OVERALL OPINION

I was thinking about a guitar with these specifications for a while now... since 2005!
I looked,tried, bought standard series guitars in shops: going to a luthier is more involving, more ... risky ... than picking any mass production guitar. And also I always said that given my pathetic level, I did not deserve a luthier's guitar.

All in all, I do not regret my choice one second. I've had quite a bunch of guitars, lots, theoretically, could suit me. In fact, I've never been completely stick to a guitar for ten years. I always found something wrong, whether ergonomics (for example, I don’t feel that comfortable with a Tune O'Matic), or whatever ... sound (eg, my slight disappointment with my ESP Horizon NT2, not as exceptional as expected).

The Blast is one damn great guitar!

I forgot: the little details that kill.
The inlay at the back of the headstock of the 666 was made with ebony taken from my Blast 667.
The inlay at the back of the headstock of the 667 was made with Padauk taken from my Blast 666.
The neck and body planks come from the same timber as the neck and body of the Blast made for Scarve's guitarist, Patrick, my idol and a cool mate!

I chose most of the wood directly in PM's stock, looking at all planks and timber!
The "JG 666" inlay was not planned at all, it was big surprise when I went to pick my guitars!
It's spoiling his customers, isn't it? I like that :o)

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